FIRST DEBATE:
September 23; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Moderator: Edwin Newman, Baltimore Sun

President Gerald Ford v. Jimmy Carter September 23, 1976
After a sixteen-year absence, presidential debates were once again held and televised. Unlike the debates between Kennedy and Nixon in 1960, the Ford-Carter debates of 1976 were each held before a studio audience, although the television networks were not allowed to show audience reaction shots.

Experiencing Technical Difficulties: Disaster strikes during the first debate
For twenty-seven minutes during the first presidential debate in sixteen years, technical disaster struck as the audio transmission failed. As ABC newsman Harry Reasoner vamped for the viewers at home, the candidates stood awkwardly at their podiums. Once sound was restored, the candidates concluded the debate with closing remarks.

SECOND DEBATE:
October 6; San Francisco, California
Moderator: Pauline Fredrick, NPR

Ford's infamous "gaffe"
In response to a question on the Helsinki Agreement put to him by Max Frankel of the New York Times, President Ford commited his infamous "gaffe" over the extent of the Soviet Union's domination of Eastern Europe.

THIRD DEBATE:
October 22; Williamsburg, Virginia
Moderator: Barbara Walters, ABC News

Carter's response to his controversial Playboy interview
With Watergate, Ford's presidential pardon of Richard Nixon, and political scandal fresh in the minds of voters, journalist Robert Maynard of the Washington Post questioned Carter about his controversial interview with Playboy magazine.